From AIB, London
Directors of the five most influential international broadcasters -Deutsche Welle, Radio France Internationale, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, Voice of America and BBC World Service – have called on governments worldwide to end media restrictions.
The directors general of the group call on heads of state to implement Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
The international broadcasters point out that countries’ democratic credentials can be measured to the extent by which they permit freedom of information, and that this, in turn, is essential for a dialogue of cultures and free exchange of ideas to take place.
During the past year, restrictions on media, and in particular on international broadcasters, have peaked during national election campaigns. Tactics have included deliberate interference with transmissions, blocking and denial of service on the Internet, and harassment and imprisonment of journalists, notably in Afghanistan, Burma, and Iran.